Newest Review: ... the balls. The end of play is reached when all the balls are gone from the playing area. The winner is the one whose hippo has eat... more
Feeding Time at The Zoo
Chad Valley Hungry Hippos
Member Name: kat1234
Chad Valley Hungry Hippos
Advantages: Fun to play, teaches children to count
Disadvantages: slightly flimsy
If ever there was a game that could transport me back to my childhood, then this is it. Hungry Hippos. Many an hour I whiled away fighting with my siblings over who was what hippo and who was cheating.... So, when I saw it in my local branch of The Entertainer quite recently, I had to purchase to play with my nieces and nephews when they visit. The game cost me £11.20 and is for ages four plus.
The game board is simple, as is the game. You are provided with a thick plastic board, on which sit four different coloured hippos - pink, yellow, green and orange. Well, you are provided with the board and four hippo attachments and four hippo heads and you need to assemble, but this is relatively easy. Each hippo also has a black lever to attach, which works the jaw as this is hinged - the lever opens it when pushed down and the jaw snaps shut when you let go of the lever. You are also provided with 20 small white marbles.
The game is for 2-4 players and the idea of the game is to be the one that finishes with the most marbles in their hippo (they are swallowed into a channel by each hippo), i.e. with the best fed hippo.
PLAYING THE GAME
The game is really simple to play and very fun. The game is usually over very quickly (depending on who you are playing with!) and can be quite tiring as you expend all your energy pumping a little lever to make your hippo gobble up the marbles as quickly as possible. The game is for children 4 plus but my niece is 3 and loves this. I assume it may be something to do with the small marbles being a choking hazard as I can see no other reason for the slightly higher age limit, but as long as she is supervised she is fine.
The rules are so simple and basic that they are easy for all to understand and there is no setting up involved - you simply empty the marbles into the middle of the board and away you go.
There are a lot of good points to this game, some of which I have already touched upon - it is simple, there is no long-winded set up involved etc. The game is easy to understand by old and young alike and can be enjoyed by all the family (well, four at a time anyway!). It is also really fun to play and can be quite exciting if the game is quite close.
One major thing that it has going for it if purchased for young children is that it allows them to develop hand-eye co-ordination as they snap the hippos when the marbles come near. They also get to practice their counting skills at the end of the game when they count how many marbles each hippo has to determine the winner.
Unfortunately, there are several cons to the game too. Some are bigger than others, but it is worth mentioning them all. Firstly, the game is not as well made as the version we had when we were kids. We never had to assemble the hippos like you do here and it felt much more durable. This version, the hippos feel lightweight and, after only a few games, we already have one hippo with a jaw that sticks a little more than the others (and therefore no-one ever wants to be this one!). For a game that is designed to be very physical and the pieces get bashed around, I do feel that this is a rather major flaw.
The marbles are also quite liable to go flying off the board during the game. All it takes id for a hippo jaw to catch one and they go flying, a little annoying and marbles can be easily lost - not good if you have a baby/pet in the house.
If you are too vigorous with the lever (as I have been known to be...) it can also hurt your hand, leaving an imprint on your palm. Ok, this is my fault for getting too carried away, so I won't hold that against it!
Once assembled, the game board does not fit back into the cardboard box easily. This is annoying for storage purposes and can again result in lost marbles (in both senses).
It must be a sign of my age when I say 'they don't make them like they used to'. It really is the case here, I can't see my new game lasting anywhere near as long as our old one nor standing up to anywhere near the same level of bashing! The game is still great fun to play but not durable enough for my liking and has a few flaws to many. It's a real shame because the game is quite unique and I've not come across a toddler that doesn't enjoy it.
In all honesty, I'm not sure how I feel about the price I paid for it. On one hand, it was quite a good price for a game that can be played by all but on the other, I would expect slightly better quality for that amount of money.
All in all, a good, fun game that can be enjoyed by all the family but needs a little tweaking to make it perfect.
Summary: childhood classic
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